Post Masters FAQs


FAQs — Post-Master’s Certificate

Pathways and Courses

  1. Q. Does the CSU Employee Fee Waiver cover the Post-Master’s Certificate (PMC) program?
    A. The PMC program is not eligible for the CSU employee fee waiver, as the PMC program is only offered in special session. It is not offered in regular session (the state supported program).
  2. Q. Can I take courses from different areas?
    A. Students may not mix and match courses from different career pathways. Students select a particular career pathway and may take courses listed for that pathway only. Post-Master’s students are admitted as Special Session students, and choose classes from the Special Session schedule of classes. Post-Master’s students do not take the 200, 202 or 204 MLIS core courses. Core course prerequisites for electives in the PMC certificate pathway are waived for Post-Master’s students.
  3. Q. Can I just take one or two classes from the Post-Master’s program? Can I transfer units into the Post-Master’s program?
    A. If you are interested in taking only a class or two, see the Open Classes program. Students in the Post-Master’s Certificate program take five courses in their chosen career pathway to earn their certificates and units taken as part of other graduate programs cannot transfer in. Note that a maximum of 3 units can be transferred into the Post-Master’s Certificate program from the Open Classes program and must be chosen from the intended Post-Master’s Certificate pathway.
  4. Q. Can I request a class with a specific instructor?
    A. Requests for instructors are not accepted. We cannot guarantee a particular instructor for any class.
  5. Q. Can I complete multiple Post-Master’s Certificates in different pathways?
    A. No.The university allows a student to complete one Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science. 
  6. Q. I’ve decided to change to a different pathway within the Post-Master’s Certificate. How do I change my pathway? Can the classes I have already taken in the previous pathway be applied to the new pathway?
    A. Please notify Sheila Gurtu if you would like to change your certificate pathway. She will introduce you to your new pathway advisor. The only courses you can apply must be listed on your new pathway’s selection of courses. All classes for the certificate must be completed within three years of admission. No additional time will be given, once you have changed your pathway.
  7. Q. What is the difference between the Digital Curation pathway and the Digital Archives and Records Management pathways?
    A. Digital Archives and Records Management is broader than Digital Curation (which deals only with the preservation and storage and organization part of archives and records).
  8. Q. May I take extra classes outside of my Post-Master’s Certificate classes through the Open Classes program while I am enrolled in the certificate program?
    A. No. But you may take other elective classes of your choice through the Open Classes program, once you have finished the certificate.


Transferring Units

  1. Q. Can I transfer units earned in the Post-Master’s Certificate into an MLIS or MARA degree if I apply to one of these programs later?
    A. No. You cannot apply units from a completed Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science toward required units for a MLIS or MARA degree.


Time to Completion / Academic Progress

  1. Q. How long do I have to complete my certificate? Can I take time off without penalty?
    A. Completion of the required 16 units and outcomes assessment must occur within three years. Post-Master’s students may take one semester leave without penalty (summer is not included). Students not enrolled for two consecutive semesters, i.e. fall and spring or spring and fall semesters, will be dropped from the program and must re-apply. Summer semester enrollment does not count toward the consecutive enrollment rule. The outcomes assessment project must be completed by the end of the final semester (the semester when the student is taking their final class for the certificate).
  2. Q. What are the grading requirements for my certificate?
    A. Students must complete 16 units with a 3.0 GPA. Only 3 units of “C” and 0 units of less than “C” coursework can be applied toward a certificate. Only 3 units of an entire program can be repeated (and can be repeated a single time only). If a course is repeated, both grades will be used in the computation of program GPA. iSchool grading scale can be found on all syllabi.


Program Aim and Audience

  1. Q. Does the Post-Master’s Certificate replace the MLIS?
    A. The Post-Master’s Certificate does not replace the MLIS degree. In order to work in most professional positions in a library or archival organization, you need an MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited program. The Post-Master’s Certificate is for individuals who have been working for a while and who want to update their skills.
  2. Q. I have just completed my MLIS. Will the Post-Master’s Certificate help me find a job?
    A. The Post-Master’s Certificate is not aimed at recent MLIS graduates. It is for individuals who have been out of graduate school for a while, are working, and want to update their skills. Recent graduates would be best served by obtaining practical experience – perhaps even volunteering in a library, information center, or archives environment. Units from a completed MLIS / MARA do not transfer into a PMC.


Financial Aid

  1. Q. Is there financial aid?
    A. Financial aid is available for Post-Master’s Certificate students. See Seven Steps to Financial Aid.